cis-Acting Sequences Required for Inducible Interleukin-2 Enhancer Function Bind a Novel Ets-Related Protein, Elf-1

Craig B. Thompson, Chung Yih Wang, I. Cheng Ho, Paul R. Bohjanen, Bronislawa Petryniak, Carl H. June, Susan Miesfeldt, Liquian Zhang, Gary J. Nabel, Beverly Karpinski, Jeffrey M. Leiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


The recent definition of a consensus DNA binding sequence for the Ets family of transcription factors has allowed the identification of potential Ets binding sites in the promoters and enhancers of many inducible T-cell genes. In the studies described in this report, we have identified two potential Ets binding sites, EBS1 and EBS2, which are conserved in both the human and murine interleukin-2 enhancers. Within the human enhancer, these two sites are located within the previously defined DNase I footprints, NFAT-1 and NFIL-2B, respectively. Electrophoretic mobility shift and methylation interference analyses demonstrated that EBS1 and EBS2 are essential for the formation of the NFAT-1 and NFIL-2B nuclear protein complexes. Furthermore, in vitro mutagenesis experiments demonstrated that inducible interleukin-2 enhancer function requires the presence of either EBS1 or EBS2. Two well-characterized Ets family members, Ets-1 and Ets-2, are reciprocally expressed during T-cell activation. Surprisingly, however, neither of these proteins bound in vitro to EBS1 or EBS2. We therefore screened a T-cell cDNA library under low-stringency conditions with a probe from the DNA binding domain of Ets-1 and isolated a novel Ets family member, Elf-1. Elf-1 contains a DNA binding domain that is nearly identical to that of E74, the ecdysone-inducible Drosophila transcription factor required for metamorphosis (hence the name Elf-1, for E74-like factor 1). Elf-1 bound specifically to both EBS1 and EBS2 in electrophoretic mobility shift assays. It also bound to the purine-rich CD3R element from the human immunodeficiency virus type 2 long terminal repeat, which is required for inducible virus expression in response to signalling through the T-cell receptor. Taken together, these results demonstrate that multiple Ets family members with apparently distinct DNA binding specificities regulate differential gene expression in resting and activated T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1053
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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